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Chickens and Humans and Pigs, Oh My!

A Case Study About Influenza


Author(s)

Jeffrey J. Byrd
Biology Department
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
jjbyrd@smcm.edu
Samantha L. Elliott
Biology Department
St. Mary’s College of Maryland
slelliott@smcm.edu

Abstract

Influenza is a common topic in the popular press and a point of interest for many students.  This case study was written to promote interdisciplinary connections between upper division virology and immunology classes.  Students that participate in this case will address many important concepts, including antigenic shift/drift, reassortment of viral antigens, viral entry via sialic acid residues, vaccinations, and pandemics.  Developed in an interrupted case format, instructors may use the case in its entirety or portions that are relevant for their own needs. The case would be appropriate for us in immunology, virology or microbiology courses.


Objectives

  • Explain the background information of their discipline to others (virology students: the influenza replication process; immunology students: how antigens are seen by the immune system).
  • Describe the basic mechanisms from the counterpart discipline.
  • Understand how viral reassortment affects host immune response and vaccine strategy.
  • Apply the mechanisms studied to future class content.
  • Locate and evaluate appropriate sources of electronic information.

Keywords

Influenza; flu; infectious disease; vaccine; vaccination; antigen; antigenic drift; antigenic shift; original antigenic sin; virus; viral antigen; host immune response; cytokine storm; pandemic; immunity; immunology; virology

Topical Areas

N/A

Educational Level

Undergraduate upper division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Analysis (Issues), Discussion, Interrupted

Language

English

Subject Headings

Biology (General)  |   Microbiology  |   Medicine (General)  |   Public Health  |   Interdisciplinary Sciences  |  


Date Posted

12/1/2011

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